Unheralded

RON SCHALOW: Port Whine, Part 1

I’m not sure how many days since Rob Port, famed columnist, political pundit and radio personality was featured on the Forum’s front page, but I’m still blind in my left eye. Seriously, I was a little startled to see Port’s mug on the front page of the Fargo Forum, for more reasons than one. Port’s visage always makes me jump, …


Unheralded

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — Getting Even … It’s the North Dakota Way

It’s the sheer pettiness that bothers me most about the state Senate’s rejection of displaying the flags of North Dakota’s Indian nations in the Capitol. SB 2287 would have mandated the display of the five tribal flags. Sponsor Dick Marcellais of Belcourt said his utterly modest, bipartisan bill — with three Democratic and three Republican co-sponsors — “is all about …


CLAY JENKINSON: The Fallacies of the Dakota Access Pipeline ‘Argument’

There is a dreary predictability about the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy, especially in the words that come out of people unsympathetic to the protest. I’m listing those I hear most often: 1. There are lots of non-Indians down there. They have no business here. They discredit (here’s the special kicker in this argument) “what otherwise would have been a perfectly legitimate …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — ‘Friendly’ North Dakota, You’ve Got Some ’Splaining To Do

Back in simpler times, when I worked with Tourism Director Joe Satrom in Bismarck, one of our main objectives for bringing tourist dollars into North Dakota was to persuade the media to write about North Dakota, that “large, rectangular blank spot in the nation’s mind,” as native Eric Sevareid memorably put it. To write about North Dakota, that is, without …

CLAY JENKINSON: A New Year — Perhaps a New Era

Jan. 11 — Today my mother (85), my daughter (22) and I drove down to the encampment on the north bank of the Cannonball River. It was an astonishingly beautiful day on the northern Great Plains: cold, but clear, with an azure sky that contrasted perfectly with the snow. We took the long way around thanks to the road closure. What …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Pipeline Media

If you’ve been following news coverage about the pipeline, stop it right now. Especially if you’re watching national and international news. What do professional journalists know that Facebook doesn’t? Now that the Army Corps of Engineers has denied permission to cross Lake Oahe, north of Standing Rock, based on foolish environmental concerns and a flawed process, some suggest the protesters …

JOHN STRAND: Taking Liberty — North Dakota Nasty

We have a huge public relations problem here in the Peace Garden State. While the world was watching the DAPL pipeline controversy, North Dakota failed abysmally in influencing the narrative telling people about us. What they see casts us in anything but a positive light. We need to acknowledge this. The movie Fargo gave us an example of how far good …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Consider All The Alternatives For Building A Safer Pipeline

For the first time in hundreds of years, the Native Americans have what seems to be an astounding victory. I’ve included the exact copy of the letter here from the Army Corps of Engineers, hereinafter referred to as the Corps. The president-elect has not weighed in but supports the pipeline. North Dakota’s governor, U.S. senators and U.S. representative support the …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — The Governor Who Disappeared In August

UPDATE: On Sunday afternoon, not long after I had written this article, the Corps of Engineers announced it would not issue an easement for Energy Transfer Partners to drill on Corps land, effectively putting a stop to completion of the pipeline until a full Environmental Impact Statement is prepared, seeking the best route for the pipeline. The Tribe won this …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Standing Rock … The Last Stand

The Army Corp of Engineers has told the Tribes that they must leave federal property on which they are encamped by early December. Then, to complicate matters, the Corps said it will not forcibly remove those individuals whom they claim unlawfully occupy the land. Further complicating the situation is this week’s emergency declaration by Gov. Jack Dalrymple to remove said individuals …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — ‘Our Water Is Our Single Last Property’

The most consistent argument made by North Dakota regulators and the owners of the Dakota Access Pipeline against the protest actions of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and their allies is that the Tribe entered the pipeline approval process too late. They should have made their feelings known earlier in the process. In mid-November, just a couple of weeks ago, …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Let’s Get Out Before The Weather Gets Bad

What I can read into the Corps of Engineers’ announcement Monday on the Dakota Access Pipeline is that the project will not move forward as long as Barack Obama is Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Army. Well, good for him. Now then, it might be time for Standing Rock Tribal Chairman David Archambault II to send the Water Protectors/Protesters home. Today. And tomorrow. …

NATASHA THOMAS: Challenging Conversation Corners — Power, In The Age Of DAPL, BLM And The 2016 Election

There’s a lot of extreme emotion in the air this week. It’s tangible. I see it across my social media feeds and dripping between words spoken and unspoken at home, work and play. Most people I know, myself included, are in a constant state of vacillation between disappointment, rage, despair, determination and just plain old fatigue. Other people are rejoicing, …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Let Me Collect My Thoughts …

This election cycle has so eroded my thought process — temporarily, I hope — that I can’t focus on any one story line today. So, I’m not even going to try. I’m just going to sit here and write whatever pops into my head. Cass County Sheriff Paul Laney and the State Sheriffs Association would be well advised to remember …

CLAY JENKINSON: A Clash of World Views — Kevin Locke

I had the honor today to hear the world renowned Lakota flute player and hoop dancer Kevin Locke perform in Bismarck. He’s in his 60s now. He has been performing all over the world since he was in his early 20s. He’s a national and international treasure. Someone I know, who knows these things, says Kevin Locke is the greatest …

CLAY JENKINSON: Standing Rock Sioux Crisis — A Plea for Understanding

I know many of you have little respect for the Standing Rock Sioux (Lakota) in the ongoing Dakota Access Pipeline crisis. Your views by now are pretty well known: A) The Sioux leadership should have been at the negotiating table long ago, when it might have made a difference; b) the pipeline is off the reservation, so the Lakota don’t …

RON SCHALOW: There Will Be More Blood

From a marketing standpoint, it was a serious breach of intellect. It’s 101 material. If you send out a product that explodes and kills people, you aren’t smart enough to grow hair. Mushroom clouds always draw bad press. There’s no middle ground. “Chad, does our new shiny thingy explode?” “No sir.” “Ship it. Where are we going for lunch?” Or, …

PAULA MEHMEL — Shoot The Rapids: A Visit To Witness The Mission Of Justice And Peace At Standing Rock

“When you move, you get the endorphins going, and you have more energy, more life.  And that is where the healing begins.” Those words, spoken by Johnny Eagle, the Wellness director for the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, not only echoed the important healing taking place in the camp at Standing Rock for the mental well-being of its participants, who deal …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Mni Wiconi, Water is Life

Without water, this planet would be uninhabitable. Without protecting our natural resources, our planet will be uninhabitable. As the polar ice cap (a major source of all water on earth) recedes, water levels will rise dramatically. With all of the activity at Standing Rock in North Dakota, the actual focus of tribal intent is being lost. The Native Americans aren’t …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Death By A Thousand Cuts

Pipelines leak. If North Dakota didn’t have such an awful reputation for not enforcing its environmental regulations in the Oil Patch, maybe we wouldn’t have a few thousand people camped out along the Cannonball River protesting the mother of all North Dakota pipelines, Dakota Access. Pipelines have been leaking oil and dangerous fracking saltwater all over western North Dakota for …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — I Know Where Jimmy Hoffa Is Buried

There has been a lot of idle talk about who killed Jimmy Hoffa and how they disposed of his body. Well, I’m not going there because I know nothing about it … but it was a great hook to get your attention. My sermon of the day relates to an extent about politics, decency and civil rights … or, more …

NANCY EDMONDS HANSON: After Thought — A Tale Of Two Protests

So, The Forum’s antiabortion columnist is shocked — shocked! — that WDAY broadcast a story on the Red River Women’s Clinic’s need for more volunteer escorts during the stepped-up protests of the nationwide “40 Days of Life.” She says, “(Their story) reads like an advertisement for our state’s only abortion clinic” and calls it a “stab in the heart.” As …

Tony J Bender: That’s Life —The Siege, Part II

UNDERGROUND BUNKER, MCINTOSH COUNTY, N.D. — Hi folks, it’s your intrepid reporter. I’m still hunkered down, clinging to my guns and my Sports Illustrated. I don’t care if we’re in a State of Emergency. (Play ominous organ music here.) It’s football season. In that regard, it is a personal emergency. My fantasy football team is so iffy, I may be …

CLAY JENKINSON: Notice The Effects Of Terror — Standing Rock

As perhaps you know, the Native Americans encamped on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation felt that they were perhaps being sprayed with tear gas yesterday, Sept. 28. They were not. Although Morton County law enforcement brought armored vehicles and a range of other paramilitary devices to the scenes of protest, the spray plane turned out to be a crop duster. …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — There Are More Horses’ Behinds Than There Are Horses

In February 1999, the U.S. Department of Justice published a report that I have never before seen. Among its revelations: American Indians experience per capita rates of violence that are more than twice those of the U.S. resident population as a whole. In the category of murder, blacks lead the way by a vast number, followed by Native Americans and …

CLAY JENKINSON: The Lakota Protest — Head and Heart

This is just going to be a personal meditation, and I apologize to anyone who would rather have more analytics and argumentation. When I was still a teenager, my best friend gave me a copy of “Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee” by Dee Brown. I read it hard and fast, cover to cover, and it changed my life. It’s basically …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Bottom Line: In Your Face

There was a discussion at my table Saturday night about whether Indians in North Dakota have gained or lost respect as a result of the Dakota Access Pipeline controversy. There was no consensus. But what I do know is that important voices are rising in support of Tribal actions (although not so much in support of Tribal agitators), and there is …

Tony J Bender: That’s Life — The Real Cannonball Ranch Story

If you think you’re up to speed after a two-minute segment on the news and a Facebook meme about the pipeline, here’s your reality check. The purchase of the Cannonball Ranch by Dakota Access Pipeline exposes more of billionaire Kelcy Warren’s Machiavellian relentlessness. He ordered a sacred burial site bulldozed, brought in attack dogs to defend the destruction, and now …

CLAY JENKINSON: Indian Sovereignty As Monopoly Money

Non-Indians have a very hard time understanding and recognizing the concept of tribal sovereignty. No matter what the U.S. Constitution might say, or Chief Justice John Marshall, most non-Indians see Native Americans as a poor, ghettoized and dysfunctional people living on the fringes of American society. They are aware that Indians license their vehicles with special plates, according to the …

Tony J Bender: That’s Life — Seven Generations

You’re wondering why a small-town newspaperman has invested so much time covering a pipeline protest across the river? Because this is a global, national and local issue right in our backyard. Our rural water comes from the spot near the pipeline’s path, a violation of the state’s Source Water Protection Program and another sign the state’s regulatory process is a …

Tony J Bender: That’s Life — Unlawful Praying

In America, where protest is in our DNA, suddenly it’s a limited option. Presumably, you can still dress up as a Native American, commandeer a British freighter and throw tea overboard, you just can’t be a real Native American in the process. Oh my, a whole bunch of Native Americans are camped at Cannonball, N.D., praying for God to smite …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — Time To Just Shut Up

I’ve tried to follow the events at Standing Rock pretty closely, and I’ve written about it a few times. Let me repeat what I said earlier: I think we need to build this pipeline because it is the safest way to move our oil, and it is the only pipeline project on the table right now. Do I wish we …

TONY J BENDER: That’s Life — Facts You Won’t Hear About The DAPL

Here are some facts that you won’t hear from the pipeline shills and propagandists: • The tribe was not offered millions to allow the pipeline. That planted rumor was denied by Dakota Access Pipeline folks themselves. A stupid rumor considering the pipeline follows an established corridor. • The tribes were consulted by the U.S. Army Corps on the water. Nope. …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — The Cavalry, Led By POTUS, Saves The Day

No one has ever heard me disagree with the decision or logic of a federal judge before. This time is the exception. I have not read the decision, but if I had, U.S. District Judge James Boasberg’s legal conclusions would not be in question. It is the factual basis upon which the conclusions are based that I take issue. A certain …

Tony J Bender: That’s Life — N.D.’s Warrant For Amy Goodman — A First Amendment Issue?

Yes, journalists can be arrested for trespass. However, when you single out reporters as an intimidation tactic — a warning shot — to try to suppress media coverage, that’s not even America, anymore. Those cameras, following a huge evolving story in North Dakota near the Standing Rock Reservation, kept everyone on the scene safe with their presence. How would hired …

RUSSELL J. MYHRE: Report From The Rez — It’s A Good Day To Be Indigenous

On Friday, as I prepared to say goodbye to my daughter, Amanda Myhre, and her traveling companion, Kaitlyn Huss, after spending the day at Sacred Stone Camp outside of Cannonball, N.D., and later at the state Capitol in Bismarck, I said, “I only wish your mother had been alive to see this day.” Amanda’s mother, Benedicta “Bennie” Callousleg, a full-blood Lakota …

JOHN STRAND: Taking Liberty — Protecting The Sacred

I needed to go to Cannon Ball, N.D., and see firsthand the Dakota Access pipeline protest site in the heart of Indian Country, a stone’s throw north of Standing Rock Reservation. When reports Saturday depicted a confrontation between the protestors, who are really protectors, and security personnel armed with dogs and Mace, it was clear I had to go. Seven …

Tony J Bender: That’s Life — Protesters Force Bulldozers Off Sacred Site

The following is a report on the events that are unfolding south of Mandan, N.D., near the boundary of the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. The story is by Tony Bender and his son, Dylan, and appeared today in the Ashley (N.D.) Tribune and Wishek (N.D.) Star. The accompanying video was shot by Dylan, who is a student at Bismarck State College. An …

CLAY JENKINSON: Standing Rock — A Plea To Keep This Pure — And Non-Violent

In the southern heart of North Dakota, we may be witnessing the beginning of a national and international pan-Indian renewal of First Peoples, Indigenous Peoples, Native Americans. Anything that helps rebuild Indian pride, cultural confidence and a firm and solid assertion of Native American rights is a good thing for all of us, for all Americans. It is past time …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Ambush At Standing Rock

It’s hard to articulate what has happened and is still happening to the Native American population. North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple, his scout, Drew Wrigley, and his alter-ego, Kevin Cramer, are either disconnected from the reality of what is happening at Standing Rock or are simply too uninformed or too cowardly to act in a responsible leadership role. Philip Strobel …

JIM FUGLIE: View From The Prairie — May YOU Live In Interesting Times

Today I am 69. It is a meaningless birthday, in a world and time when numbers that don’t end in zero or five are of little consequence. But it is significant in that I am still here. Males in my family don’t generally live this long. I kind of wish I had planned a little better. But I am grateful to still …

CLAY JENKINSON: I Respect The Protests At Standing Rock

It’s in all of our interests to show respect for the protests now under way at the Standing Rock Indian Reservation (and nearby). I acknowledge that the pipeline company has a right to extend its oil pipeline across the Missouri River (willing buyer — willing seller, the very essence of American capitalism). I acknowledge that the state of North Dakota has …

Tony J Bender: That’s Life — State Of Emergency

Side note: My son, Dylan and I covered the protest yesterday. Dylan was videoing for a Bismarck State College news report and was in the thick of things. He didn’t get bitten or pepper sprayed, but many did. MSNBC asked for his footage. Dylan is my new hero. Amy Goodman, Democracy NOW!, was on site. I am working on a …

TOM DAVIES: The Verdict — Tribal Leaders Deserve Our State’s And Leaders’ Respect

After following news coverage of the developing story at Standing Rock, I am saddened by North Dakota’s official response to the legitimate issues raised by the Native protestors north of the reservation. What North Dakota’s governor, lieutenant governor and Public Service Commission don’t seem to understand is that the Native Americans who are protesting are, in fact, American patriots. Their …